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Old 12-29-2014, 07:25 PM   #1
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SODA REFILLS on the Road...

Yes... I have time on my hands. I also had a 30" snow shovel in them today and running my ATV with a 48" plow in the front with a wind chill that had to be Arctic Summer at the best. So cut me some slack time in my comfort zone... the Air Forums.

There are several kinds of Soda Fountains. I know, I worked in an office for a major soft drink company. Their Cola was a bit sweet for my tastes, but it was an interesting job, if anyone can say interesting and job in the same sentence. I lasted six months... but had a better deal going on and resigned.

There are Regions that a bottler can distribute their line of soft drinks. The plant is printed on the can or bottle cap. Almost like Bootleggers... one distributor WILL NOT cross boundaries that the Main Company designates as... Their Territory.

Two Options, maybe Three if you pick up a 2 liter or package.

Pre Mix: It is made by the Soft Drink Bottler at the plant and in a large cylinder. The soft drink(s) are, or should, taste exactly like those coming out of the bottle or can. When it comes out of the fountain... it is ONE COLOR. The carbonated water and syrup have been PRE... MIIXED. Get it? OK. This will or should taste like the local bottler's product. Should.

There is a 'brix tester". You can even buy one for yourself. The PROFIT in a soda is not adding too much SYRUP into the carbonated water... which the CO2 and H2O mix. Too little soda and it tastes... weak, it also is more profitable. I use to carry a Brix Tester around while out of the office to see who was "shorting on the syrup". A Corporate tester is usually working at the major bottlers to test that the bottler is not cutting the syrup to make a bit extra money after 100,000 bottles or cans are filled and delivered. You get the picture? Brix: measuring syrup to water percentages.

Post Mix: This is where the Brix Tester is really needed. The syrup is added to the water at the site of delivery... YOUR REDUCED PRICE REFILL CUP. You will see carbonated water and a stream of syrup being added as you fill. The Soda Company (usually Pepsi or Coke) sets the syrup volume to the carbonated water ratio. There is a... number... that is optimum. Do not go lower... but if you want to make the soda a bit more tasty... add more syrup. It is the Concentrated Syrup that costs money. The ice you add... I call it... PROFIT. My Dad worked as a Soda Jerk in High School in Montana and the boss said... "son... add ice... it is PROFIT."

Post Mix can taste better than the most expensive whiskey or wines. There is a spot in Idaho that I wanted to go back and fill up my two 5 gallon plastic jugs with their Coke. It was the best I had ever tasted. It is not unusual for the owner of the business to "tweak the syrup" down to make a few extra bucks. I CAN TASTE THE DIFFERENCE! I can also tell Pepsi, Coke and Royal Coke (RC) apart... and the ???? colas as, what is this $#^%.

This is a "light subject" discussion for any soft drink lovers, as I am while on the road in the Summer travel. I never did write down the gas station with convenience store, souvenirs, junk food and week old hot dogs rolling on a toasting oven in IDAHO north of the Interstate... but it had that fresh syrup flavor just out of the Factory.

The WORST Post Mix soda in the USA. I had some. The local water has SO4 in it... that is sulfur. SWEET SPRINGS, MISSOURI. You have to taste it to believe it. It would be like straining the gym socks of your teenage son after being worn for one whole season at High School. Most of the stations now, would be using PRE MIX from the soda plant outside Kansas City or St. Louis.

What is your favorite SODA while on the road, and where? Soda is still more expensive per gallon than gasoline... but tastes a... whole...lot better.

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Old 12-29-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Soda is still more expensive per gallon than gasoline... but tastes a... whole...lot better.
I do not know alot about soda but........ if they would just quit putting that 15% gasoline in E85, it would taste a whole lot better than even soda and a lot less expensive per gallon than the ABC store.


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Old 12-29-2014, 08:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
... Soda is still more expensive per gallon than gasoline... but tastes a... whole...lot better.
Really? Wait, how many liters per US gallon? OK I think you're right. That was a "think about it" moment for me. All that sugar isn't good for anyone - you just gave me an added incentive to drink plain old H20. More money to travel in the Airstream!

I know that if I go a week or two without soda, I lose the taste for it, but if I have one, I always want another. And I know several people who are truly addicted to soda - some drinking more than 2 liters a DAY. I'm going to share the monetary reality with them. Let's see - save $2 per day $730 per year, $14,600 in 20 years with no interest. Put that into the kid's college fund...

I know I'm hijacking again, but thanks for the random thought.

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Old 12-29-2014, 08:19 PM   #4
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It's called Coke in the south. Doesn't matter if it is Coca Cola, Sprite, Mtn Dew, Dr. Pepper, it is still Coke.

Never touch it myself. Too sweet. I prefer water....or wine.

Now isn't there a saying about turning water into wine. Ummmmm........
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:48 PM   #5
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I used to drink it until the greedy soda company's started taking the sugar out in the late 1980's.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:32 PM   #6
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Agreed! all 'soda' are not the same! Imagine the taste of the stuff in Japan .. etc..

One cousin of mine worked at a 'Pepsi' bottling company, "local" of course. They did not move the empty bottles more than about 15 miles before cleaning of all the Cig butts and astray residue... or gasoline, etc.. then refilling.

Rather than digress about the benefits of 'recycled' bottles vs aluminum vs plastic (AS vs SOB ???)... Let's stay on topic of TASTE!

So, my cousin would 'tweak' the syrup in the 'run' / batches of 'soda' he purchased for the FAMILY ..... i.e.; personal use. Those 'BATCHES' were really really really really good!

With the newfangled 'dispensers' some would 'flow' some of the syrup BEFORE the CO2 laced water... so, you could 'bump' the trigger lever a few times and 'adjust' the flavor/quality of the drink. This has almost been eliminated in the 'newer' dispensers.... boo...

One "advancement" is that they now ship the syrup in plastic bags that collapse as consumed. Most of these end up in landfills rather than recycled (recyclers only want clean plastic, not syrup contaminated, at least here in the new Center of the Universe for Libs... ). So, why is this an advancement? They are freeing up the 'pony kegs'.. the 5 gallon stainless steel kegs which are IDEAL for home-brew beer storage !!!!

The new 'Sodastream' product.. now, that's an idea... use your own water, buy the little syrup bottles... has anyone tried that?
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:37 AM   #7
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The Dr Pepper bottler in Dublin, TX southwest of FT Worth stayed with cane sugar until a few years ago and then was forced out. Folks came from all over to get it and it was even imported into the Dallas headquarters area at Whole Foods.

I just today picked up some classic sodas from that bottler when shopping today.

Thanks for info on the Brix tester. Probably wouldn't go much good down here in South Texas as there is no understanding of making a proper complaint. Monopoly convenience store chain is the other side of the coin.

The product dispensed at the fountains is ghastly. And if one buys the cup with ice and bottled soda to fill it one is charged full price all around.

I've pretty much given up on sodas while on the road. Still have the insulated 64-oz mug though.

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Old 12-30-2014, 06:18 AM   #8
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When I drink sodas, I always drink from a can or bottle that has an ingredients label. And given a choice I avoid any soda that includes the words "phosphoric acid" in the ingredients list. That's on the advice of my endocrinologist and my diabetic nutritionist, who both say it's bad for anyone's kidneys, bones, and teeth, and especially bad for a diabetic's. And being a diabetic naturally I also avoid sodas that include the word "sugar" in the ingredients list so that I can save my limited carbohydrate intake for foods with some semblance of real nutrition.

In any restaurant, including fast food places, I get unsweetened iced tea. And then add no sweetener at all.

For what it's worth, phosphoric acid is also an ingredient of another liquid that's near and dear to our Airstreamer hearts… WD-40! Which I'm sure none of us wants to drink!
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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Caffeine free diet Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper if I'm south, where you can find it....and, I bring my own.

I hope you're not really taking offense at a bit of teasing over your recent thread-starting-marathon, Ray.

No offense is meant from me, certainly, nor anyone else, I'm sure.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:50 AM   #10
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Twenty ounce diet dew and a few snickers bars, wow, that's traveling.! Jim
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:57 AM   #11
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I don't drink sodas. Too many empty calories and I can't stand diet versions. I save my drink calorie allotment for a nice IPA at the end of the day. Coffee (no sugar) or tea in the morning and water throughout the day until IPA time.

When I do have the rare Coke I find it too sweet since weaning myself off them years ago.

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Old 12-30-2014, 08:10 AM   #12
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Well. I've learned more here about the soda industry than I ever wanted to know. I guess in the back of my mind I knew some of these things but just never really thought about it. Maybe that's why I'm into making my own unsweetened iced tea. I can add some lemon or other juice for a bit of sweet / flavor to my own taste. Not that I don't drink an soda every now and then but, lets say, rarely. But then again I don't drink coffee either. My Irish grandmother made me into a tea drinker.

Thanks Ray. You must recently be retired to find the time to share so much with us. Keep it up. When you stop we will know that either camping season has come to Colorado or you have found a hobby. Keep it up so we will know that you are well.

See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:19 AM   #13
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:33 AM   #14
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We had a fellow named 'Pik' who was about 30 years old that worked for my Dad. He stopped maturing around age 4... the sweetest, most gentle GIANT of a man I have ever met. He could pick up full 55 gallon drums of fuel from the ground and place them GENTLY on the back of a truck bed.... and do it all day long.

Pik would work all day at whatever task you gave him, so that for breakfast, lunch, dinner and maybe an afternoon break, he had the money for "an RC cola and a moon pie".... not 'Pepsi', not "Coke"... but an RC. And he knew the difference.

One day one of the other workers swapped the contents of the RC with a regular 'coke'... to see if he could trick Pik into drinking the 'coke'... Pik took one sip, spit it out and said, "I don't know what you fellas did with my RC, but I want it now." What ensued was not pretty, but I can tell you, Pik got his RC Cola.

It was then that I learned several lessons. The first being, "Don't mess with Mr. Pik's RC Cola"

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